Vegan panna cotta is one of the easiest and most delicious desserts one can prepare at home. Its secrets are not much, nor does it require any particular technique to be made. The only prerequisites are a dense, rich, plant-based milk such as coconut milk and a plant-based “gelatine” such as agar agar (a natural polysaccharide made from a species of seaweeds). During springtime, when the strawberries are abundant and delicious, I like to add a few into my recipe so that our panna cotta gets the aroma and the slightly sour taste of fresh strawberries. Garnished with a light strawberry sauce (recipe below) or a drizzle of vegan chocolate syrup, this vegan strawberry panna cotta is one of our favorite desserts during May!
for the strawberry panna cotta
- 2 cups (480 ml) full-fat coconut milk or homemade coconut milk
- 250g fresh strawberries (you can also use frozen)
- 4 tbsp sugar or other sweetener of choice (you can also use coconut sugar or raw cane sugar although they may change the color of the panna cotta a little bit)
- 2 tsp. (level) agar agar powder
for the strawberry sauce
- 250g fresh strawberries (or frozen)
- 3 tbsp sugar or other the sweetener of your choice
1. For the panna cotta: Blend the strawberries in the blender and push the pulp through a fine sieve to remove the seeds. Measure the pulp to make sure it is one cup.
2. In a saucepan add the pulp of strawberries, sugar, coconut milk and agar agar. Stir until the agar agar is completely dissolved, turn on the heat and once it comes to boil lower and simmer for five minutes stirring.
3. Distribute the mixture among 4-5 ramekins and let cool. After completely cooled put it in the refrigerator for at least two hours before serving.
4. For the strawberry sauce: Blend the strawberries in the blender and push the pulp through a fine sieve. Put the pulp together with the sugar in a pan and simmer for five minutes. Transfer to a glass jar and let cool.
5. To serve: You can serve panna cotta directly in the ramekins, garnished with a spoonful of strawberry sauce or you can unmold it and put it on a layer of strawberry sauce, in a plate. Garnish with fresh strawberries.
Some people are really obsessed with citrus fruits and citrus-flavored desserts and this is not surprising! Citrus fruits such as oranges, tangerines and lemons have distinct aromas and qualities, compelling sweet and sour tastes and freshness. Well, I am not exactly “obsessed” with citrus fruits but I like them a lot not only in their fresh, unprocessed form but also as a tasty addition to recipes.
One of our favorite dessert recipes is this simple but decadent orange tart. What I like in it, is the combination of the crispy, buttery crust with the sweet and sour, light and delicate orange cream.
For the crust
- 125 gr cold vegan butter
- 3 tbsp cold almond milk or water
- 3 tbsp raw cane sugar
- ½ tsp baking powder
- ¼ tsp salt
- 1 ¼ cups all purpose flour
- zest of 1 orange
For the orange cream
- 4 cups squeezed orange juice
- 1 cup all purpose flour
- ¾ cup raw cane sugar
- zest of 1 orange
- Make the crust: In a bowl mix all the ingredients. If the dough is too soft, add 1 to 2 more tablespoons of flour. Do not over-knead so as to get a nice crispy texture after baking. Form a ball with the dough, wrap it with a plastic wrap and leave in the fridge for half an hour.
- Take the dough out of the fridge and using a rolling pin, roll it out on a lightly floured greaseproof paper to a thickness of ½ – 1 cm. Use the sheet to turn the dough over into the tart pan. I used a tart pan of about 22 cm diameter. Fit the dough against the bottom and sides and trim excess pastry from top edge of pan. Prick it all over with a fork and chill in refrigerator for up to 30 minutes. Lay a greaseproof paper on the crust and pour over two or three handfuls of dried beans. Bake for 15 minutes in preheated oven at 175 oC. Remove the beans and the paper and bake for 20 more minutes or until golden. Let cool completely.
- Make the orange cream: Pour in a saucepan 2 cups of the orange juice with the sugar and the orange zest and bring to boil. In the remaining juice dissolve the flour, stirring well to dissolve clumps. Pour the flour mixture in the saucepan, reduce heat and stir for about 5 minutes or until a thick cream has been formed. Remove from heat and cover the surface with plastic wrap. Let cool completely (3-4 hours).
- Assembly: Stir the cream with a whisk or a wooden spoon for 2-3 minutes until fluffy. Spread the cream onto the tart and flatten its surface. Put in the refrigerator for at least 3-4 hours before serving.
The “standard” celebration of love proposes each year its own flavors. Certainly I think that all days are ideal to express our love through our cooking and not only … For such circumstances, I’ve imagined a dessert as follows: white cream, red sour-cherry syrup, rich texture, tantalizing taste.
And …oups! That’s the vegan version of the traditional Italian baked cream. Containing agar instead of gelatin and coconut milk instead of dairy, this is one of the easiest to make and most delicate, in the same time, vegan desserts one can offer to his loved ones.
- 2 cups (480 ml) coconut milk (whole fat) or homemade rich almond milk
- 2 tsp agar agar powder
- 2-3 tbsp coconut or raw cane sugar
Sour-cherries in syrup to serve
- In a medium size sauce pan add all the ingredients at room temperature: coconut milk, sugar, agar agar.
- Stir well with a whisk in order to dissolve agar powder, turn on the heat and let the mix boil. Stir during the whole process.
- When tiny bubbles will start forming, reduce the heat and keep cooking and stirring for 2 more minutes.
- Turn off the heat, divide the mixture into four ramekins and leave to cool. Place into the fridge for at least an hour, until set.
- To serve the panna cotta, loosen by running a knife around the inside perimeter of the dish, then invert onto a plate, add sour-cherry syrup along with some sour-cherries and enjoy.